Louisiana Attorney General Landry Leads States in
National Effort to Avoid Federal Overreach
BATON ROUGE, LA - In an effort led by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, nine states are urging the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ) to evaluate Obama-era consent decrees and ongoing civil rights cases with a goal of working collaboratively to end them.
In a letter to United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions – Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia asked the USDOJ to implement internal policies allowing state and local authorities a corrective period to actively use more assistance letters as opposed to advocating for full federal take-overs.
“When federal judges control our schools, prisons, and law enforcement agencies over the course of several years and in some instances decades – democracy suffers through the dilution of elected officials’ accountability to voters,” wrote General Landry. “By moving policy-making from the public arena to the shadows of a judicial conference room or the parties’ negotiating table, political agendas that would otherwise have little public support can be mandated by federal authorities.”
“Federal judges are simply not equipped to run agencies day-to-day; and they were never intended to,” said General Landry. “If anything is a given under the U.S. Constitution, it is that the police power is a state and local responsibility.”
“These consent decrees are requiring state law enforcement, elected officials, and state agencies to spend a significant amount of time and money complying with federal mandates that exceed that which is necessary to correct a problem and instead transfer control of state and local governmental functions to the federal government for years,” added General Landry, who cited FBI data showing a drastic increase of violent crime in New Orleans and other major cities after being put under federal supervision.
In General Landry’s roles as National Association of Attorneys General Vice President and member of the Republican Attorneys General Association Executive Committee, he initiated this letter following many meetings on the topic.
“We will work with the USDOJ to facilitate resolution of outstanding issues, develop an achievable path toward closure, and to take the steps necessary to reverse this disturbing trend,” pledged General Landry and his fellow Attorneys General.